Classic tale comes to life onstage

David Zumsteg, middle, plays Willy Wonka and performs with other cast members during the musical number "The Golden Age of Chocolate" in Canyon Theatre Guild's production of "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka." Courtesy photo
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The classic tale of Charlie, Willy Wonka, Grandpa Joe and television’s most poorly-behaved children came to life on stage at the Canyon Theatre Guild over the weekend.

“Everyone came out of the theatre, smiling, glowing and happy,” Director Laurie Morgan told The Signal on Sunday, referring to the show’s opening night just the day before.

The show featured 34 cast members, many of whom were youths.

“We have amazing children in this show,” Morgan said. “Our youngest cast member is six years old.”

Bella Eng, in red, plays Veruca Salt and performs with other cast members in the musical number “I Want it Now” in Canyon Theatre Guild’s production of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.” Courtesy photo

Kathryn Afetian was excited to see her child play an orange-faced oompa loompa in the ensemble of the show.

While Afetian was especially thrilled to see “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka” on Sunday because of her daughter’s performance, but the tale of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has always had a special place in her heart.

“This brings back memories for me from when I was little,” Afetian said.

“Just the magic that the characters bring to life on the stage, the songs, they’re so classic.”

Zach Andrews, right, plays Charlie and performs with other cast members in Canyon Theatre Guild’s production of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.” Courtesy photo

While parents like Afetian are excited to see their children perform onstage, Morgan explains that community theatre may give a more personal experience than professional shows.

“You might get to see your dentist onstage or your child’s teacher,” Morgan said.

Mary Douglas, a longtime season ticket holder at Canyon Theatre Guild, explains that the community aspect is exactly why she keeps coming back to see multiple productions a year.

“These people do it for the love of it,” Douglas said.

“They do it because they love to perform.”

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